July 13th, 2014

// Overweight and Pregnant – You Risk Gestational Diabetes

Overweight and Pregnant - You Risk Gestational Diabetes

If you are overweight, pregnancy can be a challenge at times. You can be prone to many complications. This can include complications not just for you but your baby as well. Your baby could be at risk for gestational diabetes.

According to research you are at risk of developing gestational diabetes if:

  1. You're obese (your body mass index is over 30).
  2. You've had gestational diabetes in a previous pregnancy.
  3. You have a strong family history of diabetes.

According to The Canadian Diabetes Association“all pregnant women should be screened for gestational diabetes within 28 weeks of pregnancy” So make sure to check with your physician that you have been checked.

What exactly is gestational diabetes? The Baby Centre describes gestational diabetes as “a type of diabetes that some women get during pregnancy.” It has been estimated that between 2 and 10 percent of expectant mothers develop this condition. This type of diabetes can occur during pregnancy when your body cannot produce enough insulin to handle the effects of a growing baby and changing hormone levels. Insulin helps your body to control the level sugar in your blood. If your body cannot produce enough insulin, your blood sugar levels will rise and result in negative side effects.

If your blood sugar levels are too high, too much sugar will end up in your baby's blood. When this happens, your baby's pancreas needs to produce more insulin to process the extra sugar. All this excess blood sugar and insulin can cause your baby to put on extra weight, particularly in the upper body. This is not something you want to happen.

The good news is women who do develop gestational diabetes can go on and give birth to perfectly healthy babies if they properly manage their condition. Healthy dietary changes and exercise may be enough to keep your blood sugar levels under control. However, sometimes medication is needed, too. The American Diabetes Association recommends the following:

1. Eat three small-to-moderate-size meals and two to four snacks every day, including an after-dinner snack.

Your meal plan may contain fewer carbohydrates than you normally eat. It's best to include complex carbs (contain more fiber) Pair lean protein with carbohydrates at all meals and snacks. Protein helps to make you feel fuller, sustain energy, and give you better blood sugar control.

2. Don't skip meals and eat breakfast. Be consistent about when you eat meals and the amount of food you eat at each one. Your blood sugar will remain more stable if your food is distributed evenly throughout the day and consistently from day to day.

3. Include high-fiber foods, such as green vegetables and fruit, whole grain breads.

4. Stop snacking on foods and beverages that contain simple sugars such as soda, fruit juice, flavored teas and flavored waters, and most desserts – or avoid them altogether.

Remember being active and exercise helps. Make sure to check with your physician if it is ok for you to exercise. Once you are make sure to exercise within your ability. If you are unfamiliar with exercise or what you should be doing when you are pregnant seek out a proper fitness expert for a consultation.


Alicia Bell



BSc Kinesiology

Precision Nutrition L1


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